Published by Createspace Independent Pub on December 31, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Source: eARC from Author
Ten years ago Janiver stole a kiss from the meanest boy in school.
He never forgot.
One minute before the tardy bell rang, Bane Illes would slip through the door.
He never smiled.
He never spoke.
Each day, that dark, dangerous boy gave Janiver Benoit a glance. And when she could not take another quiet stare, or the warmth that look sent over her skin, she took from Bane something he’d never give freely—one lingering, soul knocking kiss.
Ten years later, her family needs her, and Janiver will have to face the one person she promised herself she’d never see again.
The dangerous wizard that might make leaving Crimson Cove the last thing she wants to do.
The Myth of Writer’s Block
By Eden Butler
Last weekend George R.R. Martin announced to his LiveJournal followers that he’d missed both his Halloween and end of the year deadlines for Winds of Winter, the latest installment of his Song of Ice and Fire series. He said, in part, that the sixth season of the HBO television show based on the books may or may not spoil WoW. Then he eluded to the fact that he had been “blocked” from writing and as a result revised and rewrote much of his manuscript.
This announcement unleashed a massive response from unhappy readers, particularly those who’d anticipated the latest in what has admittedly been a slow-to-update series, but one that has absolutely been worth the wait. To those upset over the announcement, I quote Neil Gaiman on a post he made a few years back:
People are not machines. Writers and artists aren’t machines […] For me, I would rather read a good book, from a contented author. I don’t really care what it takes to produce that.
The concept of writer’s block is one that is constantly debated. Is it real? Is it just a cop-out? For someone like Martin who is fashioning an intricate, dynamic world that is complex and lush in its political dynamics and the multi-faceted plots all the while adhering to the writer’s voice and the demands his characters, it’s a bit more complicated than a mere block. He has proven himself over and over, given his readers the thrill and shock that has them clamoring for the next installment. The man deserves the time he needs to get the story right.
As to the block, I think Martin’s excuse isn’t the same as those we hear from writers all the time. Point being, in my humble opinion, writer’s block isn’t real.
Is that a wee bit insulting to writers that seem incapable of finishing a project or not liking where said project is going? Maybe. If so, I apologize. It’s never my intention to piss anyone off. However, after spending the better part of the past decade writing and publishing, I’ve discovered something that is a sure-fire resolution for fighting this purported block: Suck. It. Up.
I don’t mean to sound as crass or biting. I don’t mean to sound smug or to purport myself as someone able to sit down and write thousands upon thousands of words with little effort. Don’t misconstrued me: writing is the hardest job I’ve ever had. Writing is far more than coming up with plots and sitting down vomiting out clever lines and dialog. Sometimes the job itself is a burden. Some days I don’t want to write. Sometimes I’d rather lay in my bed or go shopping with my daughters because I am a terrible procrastinator. But if I’m writing and something isn’t working, I never buy into the myth that I am blocked. I’m not.
All a block is, really, is an excuse writer’s make for the issues they have with their current work in progress. I’m pointing my fingers at myself when I say that because I am guilty of using the block excuse far more than I should. But really, to a disciplined writer, pushing through the block, deciding to keep at it, determining to put down one word after another until those words become sentence, then paragraphs, then chapters, etc., is the smartest way to alleviate any imagined blocks.
So here is my very meager, perhaps snarky tips for writing through that pretend block. I hope they help. I hope you aren’t flipping me off via your monitor. I hope that you give writers the time and patience they deserve when they don’t meet their deadlines. And I hope you think happy thoughts for Mr. Martin and that Khaleesi kicks some more butt in season six of Game of Thrones.
Four Ways to Fight the -Mythical- Writer’s Block:
- If it’s not working, don’t force it. Recently I’d signed up for a shifter project. This was a stellar project organized by a group of professional, talented writers and artists. I was excited to try my hand at a new genre. But the characters weren’t cooperating. My main character, in fact, flat out refused to be a shifter. He had grander plans. When I knew the deadline neared, I made a tough decision and backed out of the project. But I didn’t give up on the story or the characters. I took some time away from the story and really thought about what they wanted. Then, I started free writing and a few weeks later I had an outline and plot that made a lot sense to me and, as a result Crimson Cove was born.
Bottom Line: Do not force the story.
- If it’s not working, start somewhere else. Are your characters refusing to talk to you? Are they insisting that the story should be told in someone else’s point of view? If the story isn’t working, try freewriting in another character’s PoV. Maybe you need to start somewhere else—a different time of day, a different setting. Find what works best and run with it.
- When nothing works, try a few writing exercises to pull out gems that may be lurking somewhere in your imagination. A few personal favorites:
Write a letter from your main character to yourself. Have them tell you all about “the things you don’t know and should” about them.
Look online for pictures—type in Google search for things you think might inspire you and write a brief bio of the person in those pictures.
Listen to a haunting song or a song that fits the mood you want the scene you’re about to write to invoke. I do this often to put me in the mood. Example: I’m currently writing a historical novel set in 1948. Nat King Cole has been my constant companion.
- If it’s not working, like at all and absolutely nothing whatsoever is helping you, then the simplest solution is to take a break. That does NOT give you permission to stop writing but it is a good idea to step back, don’t touch your story and let your mind rest a little until something comes to you that might help revitalize your inspiration. This is the perfect opportunity to read something new or to return to a book you’ve already read that has your muse singing and your fingers twitching to write. The most crucial element of this course of action is this: You MUST finish the story. No matter how awful, no matter if you need to rewrite eleventy billion times, finish the damn story. Otherwise you’ll never discover what could have been if you’d just ignore the block you convinced yourself was real.
Trust me. It’s not.
Now get off the internet and go write!
Crimson Cove is a standalone paranormal (in a supernatural subgenre) by Eden Butler. I would classify the book as new adult. It starts off with the two main characters in high school and the story line continues to 10 years later. (almost my age, and I would like to consider myself in the new adult age range- though maybe the upper end…) The first few chapters were a bit of a jumble for me, but once I got past those and into the meat of the storyline, I flew through the book. I ended up really enjoying it.
Crimson Cove is full of witches and shifters and wizards, and the town knows nothing about it. That is, until someone steals something that causes magic to go haywire in town. It was this event that brought our main characters together. Bane is this huge mystery to me. I would have loved to have gotten inside his head throughout the story, because he is so annoyingly hard to read. He is all brooding stares, and not much talk. But I loved him anyway. Jani is the main heroine, and her special ability is tracking, or finding lost objects. She is brought back into her small town, after being gone for ten years, to find the missing Elam.
Jani is carrying around a big secret. One that even Bane doesn’t know about. I wanted this secret to come out in the open pretty much the entire time I was reading, because let’s face it- in this case that would have been so much more fun. I really liked the characters that Edent Butler created in Crimson Cove, and I love that it was a standalone. I thought it came together and ended in a very nice place. But I do wish there was a little bit more world building on the front end. I got a good picture of what was going on, but only after I got past the first few chapters. Those confused me. They jumped all over the place in time and there wasn’t enough time spent in the past before we jumped ahead 10 years, in my opinion. But I would encourage you to get past the first few chapters because once we are in the present day setting, the book really picks up.
Bottom Line: if you are a fan of elemental type magic and witch books, this is a good standalone for you to check out. The take on magic and the lines in nature was wonderful and the characters make the story.
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